10 Places to Volunteer at in San Diego

    Martin Luther King Day is just around the corner and in light of this holiday, we thought we would share some of San Diego’s volunteer opportunities. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to making this world a better place, and with small actions like volunteering, or simply holding a door open, we can follow in his footsteps. Below is a list of some of the wide range of volunteer opportunities in San Diego.

    1. San Diego Humane Society

     San Diego Humane Society

    If you love animals, this is the volunteer opportunity for you. The San Diego Humane Society takes care of almost 2,000 animals daily. Volunteers are needed both for animal care and to assist guests to ensure for a great experience for both parties. The San Diego Humane Society requires a minimum commitment depending on what type of role you want to assist with. Animal care is once per week with a 2-hour shift, guest services are once every other week and neighborhood adoption services is once every other week.

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    1. San Diego Food Bank

    San Diego Food bank

    With the high cost of living in San Diego, lots of families are going hungry or struggling to pay their bills. With the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and North County Food Bank, San Diego provides on average 370,000 with food every month. The food bank relies on volunteers and is always accepting new volunteers to help at the warehouse, distribution sites, and events. Shifts last about three hours and will include tasks like packaging produce for distribution, inspecting, sorting and labeling donations, and assembling food packages for various programs. You can choose your shifts and volunteer whenever you want. They accept groups of volunteers and children.

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    1. City of San Diego

    city of san diego

    Do you love San Diego? Why not volunteer with the city to help support your community and help maintain the finest city in America. Volunteer opportunities vary and can include: picking up litter from open spaces, parks, lakes, helping students and adults with literacy, engaging in activities with senior citizens and those with special needs and also promoting community safety awareness.

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    1. Mission Trails Regional Park

    Mission Trails Regional Park

    If you love to explore nature and are looking for an excuse to spend your free time at Mission Trails Regional Park, there are lots of volunteer opportunities where you can help out either at the visitor center assisting staff, the gift shop or the library, or you can spend your time outside as a volunteer patrol, or part of the trail crew, habitat improvement team, or beautification crew.

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    1. Mama’s Kitchen

    mama's kitchen

    Mama’s Kitchen is a community-driven organization devoted to providing meals to those who are suffering from HIV, cancer, and who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves and their family members.  This non-profit was started in 1990 and serves over 1,300 people annually. Volunteers are needed to help prepare food, pack grocery bags, answer phones, deliver meals, and operate food drives and more.

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    1. PAWS San Diego

    paws san diego

    This program from the San Diego Humane Society provides low-income pet families services all over San Diego County. Clients include homeless individuals, seniors, chronically ill or disabled people, veterans and more. There are different volunteer opportunities that include delivering pet food and supplies to clients, transportation to vet appointments, dog walking, and warehouse volunteering.

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    1. San Diego Coastkeeper

    San Diego Coastkeeper

    Keep our beaches clean and protect ocean wildlife by volunteering with San Diego Coastkeeper. Different opportunities include water quality monitoring, beach cleanups, lab volunteers, special projects and seasonal programs, events, and boat captains. If you love the ocean, you can find the right volunteer activity for you.

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    1. StandUp for Kids

    standup for kids

    This local and non-profit charity organization works directly with thousands of homeless youth in San Diego. They work to empower homeless and at-risk youth by helping with lifelong personal growth and belief in themselves through counseling, mentoring and life-skills. Volunteer opportunities include working as a counselor, mentor, street outreach, outreach center programming, fundraising, office support and more.

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    1. Rady Children’s Hospital

    rady children's hospital san diego

    Assist hospital staff with caring for patients and providing support for their families. There are lots of different opportunities to choose from including acting as a liaison between the surgery staff and families, office support, information desk greeter, activity room volunteer and more! There are lots of opportunities to get involved at Rady’s.

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    1. The Center – San Diego LGBT Community

    the center San Diego

    Whether you are a part of San Diego’s LGBT community or if you just want to get involved, The Center provides lots of volunteer opportunities to participate in including: The Aids Walk San Diego, administrative support, civic engagement, event volunteers, facilities assistant, family matters, food banks, front desk services, group facilitator, Hillcrest Youth Center and so much more. Click the link to view all volunteer opportunities.

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    Get Involved

    Whether you dedicate one day or twelve hours a year to volunteering somewhere, it makes a difference in our world. Volunteering will not only make you feel good, you will make some new friends along the way and hopefully inspire others in your footsteps. Already volunteering somewhere? Let us know where in the comments!

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    2 Responses to “10 Places to Volunteer at in San Diego”

    • Marcie Sands

      Written on

      Love volunteering for Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, Rancho Bernardo Unit! We welcome new members from San Diego North County.


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